Inventory Procedures for Equipment

Each Dean/ Department Head and Property/ Accountable Officer share a joint responsibility to ensure the State/ University property entrusted to his/ her care is maintained and safeguarded to the best of their ability. Property items, valued at $500 or greater (capital items) are inventoried centrally for each department using their TBM 300 Report. Responsibility for this property and equipment rests with the unit manager/ department head where the equipment is assigned. Accurately maintained equipment records, including periodically inventorying the items, is the responsibility of the Department Property Officer. Inventories of equipment with unit values of less than $500 and are not classified as sensitive is maintained centrally. Responsibility for controlling these items rests entirely with the unit/Department's Property Officer where the equipment items are assigned.

Delegation of Property Management Responsibilities
Duties: To ensure effective accountability of State/ University property responsibility shall be delegated to Property Officers. Custodial responsibilities shall be delegated to Accountable Officers. The manner in which these responsibilities are delegated will depend on the size and amount of property of the division and department. The requirement is in accordance with State of Maryland Regulations.

  1. Duties of Property Officers
    a. Appoint in writing, other Property Officers as deemed necessary.
    b. Appoint in writing, Accountable Officers as deemed necessary.
    c. Initiate and implement division/ department specific internal inventory control procedures as necessary.
    d. Responsible for all property assigned their division/ department.
    e. Ensure physical inventories of personal property are conducted and reconciled.
    f. Review and approve request for property transfer and property disposal.
    g. Report missing and stolen property.
    h. Ensure a thorough search for missing property is conducted.
    i. Maintain records of all personal property assigned to the department/ division.
    j. Ensure a record of sensitive property within the division/ department is maintained.
    k. Ensure that items susceptible to theft are properly secured.
  2. Duties of Accountable Officers
    a. Appointed by the division Property Officer.
    b. Assume custody of all University personal property assigned to their department/ division.
    c. Know the location at all times of all assigned University property.
    d. Conduct and reconcile physical inventories of assigned University personal property with assistance from Property Control.
    e. Certify, in writing, the accuracy of the physical inventories.
    f. Sign all requisitions and receipts for incoming personal property.
    g. Ensure that equipment is properly marked and identified.
    h. Inform employees that they are personally responsible for the use and care of University property in their custody or under their control and for reporting losses promptly to the Department of Public Safety.
    i. Ensure that an Off Campus Property Pass is obtained prior to being taken off campus.
    j. Report missing, stolen, and damaged property to the Property Officer and the Department of Public Safety immediately upon discovery of loss or damage.
    k. Keep Property Officer informed of any excess of unserviceable property.
    l. Keep Property Officer informed of any personal property related issues.
    m. A record must be maintained of all property passes.

    Accountable Officers should be supervisory or administrative employees with sufficient authority to direct the care and proper utilization of State/ University property assigned to them.

Internal Audit: Internal audit personnel will verify the accuracy of inventories by sample counting, verify the reconciliation of individual inventory records by physical count of a reasonable number of items and evaluate any phase of physical inventories.

Departmental Inventories (Capital Equipment)
Inventory and Property Control Reports: Departments are required to assist the Property Control representative(s) in the taking of a thorough and complete inventory of all property and equipment in their possession. Departments will be notified in advance of the month in which the inventory will be taken. The department will be required to assign one of more people to assist Property Control in completing the physical inventory.

Property Control will perform unannounced inventories (Special Inventories) to verify the accuracy of departments' inventories and assist in stolen assets paperwork. The department will be required to assign one or more people to assist Property Control in completing the physical inventory.

Property Control will issue a Preliminary Report showing the results of the physical or special inventory and provide inventory guidance.

The Preliminary Report consist of:

  1. Cover memo explaining the results of what is required of each department. This should be carefully read.
  2. Blank Inventory Response Form
  3. An Inventory Verification List (TBM300), (Appendix C) becomes an authorized registered document when first signed by the department's Property/ Accountable Officers and lastly signed by the Property Officer of MSU whose office is located within the Property Control Department, Washington Service Center. It is used during periodic inventory evaluations and to record such daily activities as transfer and missing fixed assets. The TBM300's availability and condition codes are indicators that allow it to be signed by a Property or Accountable Officer even when there are problems related to particular fixed asset line item(s). The Property Officer or the Accountable Officer may utilize the report as a checklist. The heading indicates the department and the custodian responsible for the assets listed. Information on this report helps one identify the assets he/ she is responsible for. When the Accountable Officer and the Inventory Control Representative agree on all fixed asset availability, conditions and that the line items are applicable to his/ her custodianship, the listing then may be signed. Once signed, it becomes a registered document that remains in his/ her file in Property Control. When the department assigns a new Accountable Officer, a new TBM300 listing will be produced by the Inventory Control Section. The Property/ Accountable Officers will review the new TBM300 Listing prior to its signing.

All discrepancies (i.e., missing property) are to be explained on the Inventory Response Form. The Property/Accountable Officer must sign the Property Accountability/ Responsibility Statement and return it and the Inventory Response Form to Property Control within 10 working days after receiving the Preliminary Report. No other form of response will be accepted.

Only verifiable explanations of discrepancies can be accepted. For example, a properly executed Property Control Action Request Form (PCAR) for a transfer of property is acceptable. Also, a report of a theft to the University Police, which they can substantiate, is acceptable. If the Dean/Department Head or Property Officer determines that an item is truly "missing", a police report must be filed explaining the circumstances of the disappearance, including what steps were undertaken to locate the equipment. Your explanation would read "See Police Report Number _____". However, a discrepancy explained by a statement, such as "cannot be located" or "missing," is not valid. The Accountable Officer's signature on the Inventory Verification List (Form TBM300) signifies the Property/ Accountable Officers accepts responsibility for all the property noted on the printout. Also, items having an investigative of pending Inventory Control Condition Code placed next to them are not the responsibility of the Property or Accountable Officers until such time as an agreed upon or substantiate reason is validated. Be mindful that the Accountable Officer is an official representative of the Dean/Department Head or Property Officer.

Once the inventory response has been verified, approved, and processed by Inventory Control, the department will receive a Final Report of the updated inventory (Form TBM300). They should verify the accuracy of the data and advise Inventory Control of any corrections.

In any case, where there are discrepancies concerning missing property, the Accountability Statement must be signed by the Property and Accountable Officers and returned to Inventory Control before the inventory can be considered complete. Missing property will remain on the records until such time as the Maryland State's Department of General Services approves their authorization for removal. Departments should maintain a copy of their printout for future reference.

Departmental Inventories (Non-Capital Equipment)
The following guidelines should be used in controlling non-capital equipment:

  • Each Dean/Department Head has custodial responsibility for all non-capital equipment and should use adequate safeguards such as locks, cabinets and limited access storerooms. At a minimum, the department (or other unit as appropriate) should maintain a list of all non-capital equipment not included on the University's perpetual inventory system. At the department's discretion, the list may be manual or electronic. The list should show the asset description, actual cost (estimate cost if actual is unavailable), serial number, and individual responsible for the item(s). Items not owned by the University should be included on the list and custodial responsibility properly assigned.
  • Non-Capital Equipment should be tagged or engraved by the department to the extent practical. Property tags are provided by the Property Control Department or engraving by request and scheduling.
  • Periodically, the Manager/ Department Head or his/her designee should inspect the items listed to ensure they are still on hand. After inventorying the equipment, the inventory list should be updated and retained.

Software Inventory
All administrative software that is purchased by the Information Services Department for implementation at administrative offices is the responsibility of the Director of Information Services. Software is installed at users workstations and users are provided the hard copy documentation; however, original software diskettes are not left at the user sites.

All original software diskettes must be retained in the Information Services Department. This includes all software purchased as part of the IS Action Plan (see MSU IPP) or from Information Service funds, and includes but is not limited to WordPerfect, Excel, Quattro Pro, Microsoft Publisher, PageMaker.

Users should understand that IS software that is purchased for a particular department and installed on hardware units in that department is for the exclusive use of that department only. Specifically, users are not allowed to make copies of the software installed on their workstations for any reason. Users are especially cautioned against the following:

  • making copies of their software for distribution to other users in their department (i.e., do not copy software from one machine to another machine),
  • making copies for personal use at home,
  • making copies for users in other departments,
  • making copies for students or for use in classroom environments.

Failure to comply with the strict limitations against software piracy could seriously jeopardize the privileges granted to the University under various site licenses agreements and could result in legal action against the University.

It should be noted that software procurements must be from authorized sellers and if the software has any date- keeping ability, it must be century compliant or Year 2000 compliant.